Inspire: 1 day 2 times

My friends recently got on my case for only covering Japanese restaurants. It’s fortunate I do actually eat at other places! This review will be about a restaurant located in Markham on Main Street.
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Sabai Sabai – Bai Bai

Sabai Sabai is one of the latest projects by Nuit and Jeff Regular, who also had a hand in popular Thai restaurants such as Khao San Road, Suhkothai, and Pai. This restaurant focuses on small share plates in a tapas style, and has a casual yet energetic ambiance.   Continue reading

Best presentation award goes to...

Spice Route: pan-asian, leveled up!

Straight to the point this time:

Location: 499 King St. W.
Price: $$-$$$; entrees $15-30, quite reasonable for fanciness of this calibre.

opening these doors consisted of pulling at random metal parts...

Yep, the restaurant has no sign. All there is, is a bouncer standing by these doors; pretentiousness up!

So This is the third time I’ve been here, and although a big/fancy/known restaurant of the King West block, it may be hard to find for first-timers; The entry way is sort of a nook, with these giant doors. It is more inconspicuous during the day because at night, there’s a bouncer standing outside to mark it’s existence, oh and there are real fire torches mounted on the walls of the nook; neither are present during daylight.

I guess the chair looks asian, which made it appropriate decor... but really it just looks random.

A "floating chair"

When you enter the doors, there’s another nook, a foyer area? there’s buddha on one side also a chair exhibited on another wall. To be honest I think they are just pushing it with the asian decor… It’s nice I suppose, but to me it feels like a “kitchen-sink” asian theme. When you enter the second set of doors, there’s the hostess podium and she will lead you to your tables. Inside, there is a centre bar area with waterfountain/waterfall backdrop, very cool. also, many buddha statues spread out in the interior decor as well.

This place is swanky. (Quote: “this is exactly how I imagined the trendy bars of Hollywood to look like!” – CH)

Table Setting; excuse the flash.

Asian-looking candle holder. yay theme.


Mandarin Buns, on the house 🙂 How nice ^^

The waiter comes and takes our order, we got a few things to share and also a pot of rose tea (smelled delicious =D) and a pleasant surprise? we got a free appetizer of baked (or maybe fried?) mandarin buns with a mango lime dip, it looked adorable and was actually very delicious!! The buns were slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside, with a light sweetness that perfectly complements the very mild tanginess of the dip. Bonus points for FREE!

looks better than it tastes?

Tuna Dynamite Roll with Wasabi Cream

Next up was the tuna dynamite roll… it was a disappointment to me. The wasabi cream was refreshing and yummy with a hint of spiciness, but the rolls were kinda boring. There was too much rice and it was really difficult to taste the tuna. On my second piece I especially removed the tuna to eat with the wasabi cream, sans obstruction from rice, but found it no better. The tuna was dry and had no taste. Definitely an order mishap.

Pad Thai

Following was the Pad Thai. Now first I have to say that I’ve never been a pad thai connisseur, and because I’ve never had a pad thai that I especially enjoyed (despite good reviews from other people), I feel like my views on this dish is strongly biased. With that said, I did not enjoy the pad thai. When it came up, it was not steaming hot, and rather than stir-fried the dish looks… just stirred. The dish was more wet than I had been accustomed to, and it all seemed very… slippery?

It tasted okay, sweet and soury, substantial egg and shrimps were harmed in the making of this dish.

To provide you with another point of view, my friend, who is part Viet? and a lover of Pad Thai, said this was “the best pad thai she’s ever had in her life”. so.. that’s that for ya… I guess you would have to be the judge of this yourself.

Definitely the most interesting and delicious dish of the night :)

Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon with homemade shanghainese Rice Cake

Now this dish I am definitely qualified to judge!! As a lover of salmon (sashimi, glazed, grilled, baked, all variations!!), This is definitely the best glazed salmon I have ever had!! The meat was very moist and succulent, and the glaze was just sweet and soy-y enough to ensure there is flavour with every bite, without overpowering the fish itself! And the ricecakes as well were awesome, moderately chewy but still with the flavour of the glaze cooked in. Usually it’s hard to cook rice cakes because a minute too short and the cakes taste rubbery, and a bit too long will cause the rice cakes to lose their texture. Bravo for this. Continue reading